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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/suzuki.htm
Japan 1991

Yumeji is the final film in youth-gone-berserk auteur Seijun Suzuki’s acclaimed Taisho Trilogy. Sensual and absurdist, it spins a ghost story around the character and work of real-life painter and poet Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934). The eponymous character -- conjured by Suzuki as a chronic philanderer and dreamer played by former rock star Kenji Sawada -- is plagued with ideals of perfect beauty and the terror of his own demise. He falls in love with women, but can never capture their hearts. He is constantly escaping his rivals, but can never face them down.

As the film opens, Yumeji is on a scenic trip to Kanazawa, where he plans to meet Hikono (Masumi Miyazaki), his lover. Instead, he falls for Tomoyo, a recent widow whose husband, Wakiya (Yoshio Harada), was slain by the murderously jealous Onimatsu. Complications ensue when Wakiya returns from the dead; Onimatsu is understandably distraught. Yumeji is not deterred, however, setting out to seduce Tomoyo while avoiding the rages of Wakiya and Onimatsu, as well as a phalanx of ghosts, apparitions, and nightmares.

A Cannes Fortnight Selection in 1991, Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai (2046, Chungking Express) paid homage to Yumeji by borrowing its haunting theme music for his own feverishly romantic masterpiece, In the Mood for Love.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 31st, 1991

Reviews                                                                                   More Reviews                                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Kino Video - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Covers

 

 

  

  

Presently only available in Arrow's Blu-ray boxset with Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za and Yumeji, in the US and the UK:

  

Also available in Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy on Kino DVD which includes Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za and Yumeji

              

Distribution Kino Video - Region 1 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:19:40  2:08:22.695 
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Disc Size: 46,835,769,181 bytes

Feature Size: 37,552,313,088 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English (ingrained) English and None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

Aspect Ratio:
Letterboxed: 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Suzuki Bio/Filmography
• Original theatrical trailer
• Promo Materials
• Print essay on the Taisho Trilogy

DVD Release Date: March 7th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1.66:1 Disc Size: 46,835,769,181 bytes

Feature Size: 37,552,313,088 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• New introductions to each film by critic Tony Rayns (24:19)
• Trailer (4:37)
• Making of Yumeji (10:07)
• FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring writing on the films by critic Jasper Sharp and more

Blu-ray Release Date: July 24th - August 8th, 2017
Custom Blu-ray Box

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray Region FREE - July 2017: Firstly, I am going to duplicate the comments for all three films (Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za and Yumeji) in Arrow's Blu-ray boxset.

 

This is another Blu-ray package that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same content on both sides of the pond. As acknowledged on the Day of Anger Blu-ray release by Michael Brooke who informed us on Facebook:  'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximize compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.'  We can safely presume Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy Blu-ray set to be the same situation.

Kudos to Arrow for their boxsets; Dekalog and other TV Works, their massive The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast, Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection, The Marx Brothers at Paramount, their Woody Allen boxsets, The Jacques Rivette Collection, many Japanese director sets; Kiju Yoshida: Love + Anarchism, Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece The Human Condition set, Kinji Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor and Humanity, also Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection, Outlaw Gangster VIP: The Complete Collection, The Stray Cat Rock Collection - all on Blu-ray and fans are appreciative of the effort with this Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy Blu-ray set as well. I'm amazed at your content and thank you!

We reviewed the Kino DVD set over a decade ago - and were negative about the transfers. They were poor with improperly labeled details, burned-in subtitles, chroma, bleeding, artifacts and a generally unacceptable image - even for SD. This Blu-ray edition is a far more pleasing set - the image looks vastly superior - layered contrast - richer, tighter, brighter - mostly, more information in the frame and more some visible depth - see our captures below for more of its improvement over SD. It has obvious advantages over the lesser format. The 1080P transfers are all dual-layered with max'ed out bitrates. The quality isn't perfect (some dullness in Zigeunerweisen but each 'younger' release the colors are stronger) but is such a significantly better quality that it's like seeing the films anew. They look excellent in-motion. I'm not going to register any major complaints - after suffering with these, almost unwatchable, DVDs for the last 10 years.

All three discs represent the audio via an authentic linear PCM 1.0 mono track in 24-bit in the original Japanese. It sounds flat but carries a modicum of depth and sounds clear and without flaws. Shigeru Umebayashi (The Grandmaster, 2046, The House of Flying Daggers) composed the score for Yumeji and the wonderful Yumeji's Theme plus Kaname Kawachi credited for Zigeunerweisen. The films benefit from the lossless transfer augmenting the moods running beside the film heightening the discontinuity, eroticism and chaos. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray discs are coded region FREE.

In the supplements there are new introductions to each film by critic Tony Rayns - 13.5-minutes for Zigeunerweisen, 17-minutes for Kagero-za and 24-minutes for Yumeji providing background, expert analysis, touching upon themes, the director's oeuvre, historical references and giving a wonderful overview for further appreciation of the three Suzuki films. On the Zigeunerweisen disc we get Tony Rayns on the Taisho Trilogy for an effective but too-brief 10-minutes. On the Kagero-za disc we have a, 26-minute, vintage interview with Seijun Suzuki and he is off-the-cuff and as enchanting as ever. The Yumeji Blu-ray has a 10-minute 'Making of...' which has some behind the scenes footage. Each disc has a trailer for the respective film. The first pressing only receives a booklet featuring writing on the films by critic Jasper Sharp and others.

Another top flight Blu-ray set from Arrow. Suzuki's fan base will love the ability to see these, often delirious, Fellini-esque, visually splendid, cinematic, Japanese gems in 1080P. Cinema like no other. Our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: I've again had enough of Kino. All three editions in this boxset are improperly labeled on the back cover and this one even claims it is anamorphic... and it is not (the other two claim 1.66 and they are 1.33). The subtitles are again ingrained (not player generated) and are burned onto the image. Overall the transfer is probably the weakest of the three with more signs that it is from a reasonable analog source. Like Zigeunerweisen and Kageroza there is minor color bleeding and chroma is more visible (see below). Audio is consistent but unremarkable. Again no worthy digital extras (only text screens) although the included essays are a nice touch.

DVDBeaver understand that these films may be in great demand by Suzuki fans, but we do not recommend the boxset or any of the individual editions based on the poor transfer quality and the excessive price for what is being offered. Hopefully, a real DVD company will releases these in a more pristine transfer very soon.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

NOTE Chroma on DVD; checkered suit

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

  

Presently only available in Arrow's Blu-ray boxset with Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za and Yumeji, in the US and the UK:

  

Also available in Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy on Kino DVD which includes Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za and Yumeji

              

Distribution Kino Video - Region 1 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray





 

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